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Chimpanzees as Pets - When Something Goes Wrong
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Chimpanzees as Pets - When Something Goes Wrong

Chimpanzees are very strong and often exhibit violent behavior with age. When chimpanzees attack humans they bite body projections such as limbs, ears, nose and etc... The chimpanzees will also tear limbs with their hands. Chimpanzees are wild animals and while they can be taught to socialize should not be domesticated.

LaDonna and St. James Davis raised Moe the chimpanzee as a son. Moe was even dressed in a tux at the couple's wedding. St. James brought Moe home from a trip to Africa in 1967. Moe was an infant, measuring almost 12 inches with a pink face and light brown hair. The gentle well-behaved chimpanzee had his own bedroom. He slept in a bed and wore clothes like any little boy. Moe ate with a spoon and fork and even used the toilet.

Moe's first act of aggression came in 1998, when a welder was repairing his cage and left a piece of equipment turned on, which gave Moe a shock. Moe took off down the street, dented a police car, scratched an animal control officer and injured a police officer before the incident ended. A year later Moe bit the tip of a woman's finger when she stuck it in his cage.

Moe was eventually moved to an animal sanctuary. On a visit to the sanctuary, St. James was mauled by two other chimpanzees. Moe was in a cage at the time. The owner of the sanctuary shot one of the chimpanzees, while the second chimpanzee drug St. James off. Davis lived despite having his genitals, nose and buttocks gnawed and ripped off. He can no longer walk as his foot was mangled.

Sandra and Jerome Herrold adopted a three day old chimpanzee, named Travis. Travis could dress himself and ate at the table with the family. In 2009, Travis mauled Charla Nash, severely tearing her face off and both hands. Nash was a friend of the family.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome below.

Royalty-free photo courtesy of 123rf.com.

Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)

More about chimpanzees, wild, animals, rights
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  1. Sheila Ray
    I'd be scared to have one. I love watching them in zoos though.
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Sheila thanks for the vote and comment!
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  2. Carolyn
    Carolyn
    Readers, do you believe that it is ethical for humans to take wild animals and remove them from their natural habitat and treat the animals as a domesticated pet?
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  3. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted. Very interesting article, I had no idea chimps could be so violent and unpredictable! It sounds like it is not advisable to have them as pets at all.
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks for the vote Veganara! I agree with you!
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  4. Akanksha
    Akanksha
    Never thought of pets this way. Personally, I don't think animals should be kept as pets at all unless they are given freedom to be themselves and live the way they were meant to be. Most people view pets as a solution to their own loneliness rather than an expression of love towards them.
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks for the vote and input! Each of these people treated the animals as a member of the family. Is it ethically right to remove the chimpanzees from their natural habitat in this way? The animals were put to sleep for behaving the way chimpanzees behave in the wild.
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  5. Teresa
    Teresa
    Carolyn, just voted. I say, NO!!! Do not take a wile animal out of their natural habitat, and make it a family pet. Though,, the intentions may be pure on the part of the individual that has decided to make it a part of the family. However, in time, as you've mentioned in your post, that even though Mo was a part of the family, he still had that natural wild instinct in him when felt in danger. All wild animals are naturally that way, and should not be considered, to be adopted as part of the family no matter what types they are.
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Teresa for the vote and the imput!
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      1. Teresa
        Teresa
        You're welcome.
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  6. Loca Serpiente
    Wild animals are called wild because we don't know enough about them to keep them at home. They have instincts that most untrained people wouldn't be able to understand. It's better to leave them to professionals who know how to take care of them.
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    1. Teresa
      Teresa
      Loca I agree with you. The wild animals should be left up to the professionals that knows just how to work with them. That's why, we have the many zoos that we have around the states. However, even then, sometimes, you hear about the occasional out burst of the animals attacking their trainers. All in all, I do believe, that they should be under the care of professionals that knows what they're doing when it comes to wild animals.
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      1. Anita Vegana
        I also agree with the idea of just leaving them in the wild. It's where they belong. Maybe that's why they lose control - they have no idea what is going on around them because their instincts tell them how to react to something, and if it is not something that belongs in their natural habitat, they go crazy. In a zoo, they become lifeless. Zoos are better than homes, but I still vote for natural over anything else.
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        1. Carolyn
          Carolyn
          Thanks Anita for the vote and your thoughts on the matter!
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    2. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks for your vote and input Loca Serpiente!
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  7. Anita Vegana
    Carolyn, I think this is quite a topic. I heard about this but with wolves in Canada. Some people take either pure wolves, or adopt half-wolf, half-dog breeds as domestic animals. Even when they are only half-wild, they have uncontrolable instincts and are better off left in forests where they can be themselves. Trying to tame a wild beast is asking for trouble... well, that's what I think. Please come read my article, Vegan Is Love: Having a Heart and Taking Action, and let me know what you think about the controversy around this book. Please vote too!
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Anita, thanks for your thoughts and vote! Will definitely take a look at your article and support my new friend!
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  8. SnakeWitch
    If you know what you're doing, some wild animals can be kept, but only one that a person is strong enough to defend themselves against. I mean, even if they're not out of control, at times they're just playing innocently and can hurt you. My domestic cat - a boy - was so rough I'm sure some people wouldn't like to play with him. He was big and strong and loved to bite and scratch. My other cat, a very small and extremely delicate girl, hated playing with him but... had no choice! In that light, I'm trying to imagine being swated, just for the fun of it, by a chimp...
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  9. Teresa
    Teresa
    Congratulations. 13 Votes, and it's already on the home page. Way to go there, girl.
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  10. pftsusan
    pftsusan
    #14. All animals have a wild side. Most cats or dogs can be domesticized. All others need to be in their environment. Great blog.
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    1. Veganara
      Veganara
      I think the thing about cats and dogs as pet is that they have been domesticated over thousands of years, haven't they? So most of the wild behaviours have been bred out of them over that time (although certain types can still show it!) It's a combination of heredity and environment. That's why people can now keep them as pets safely. You would probably have to do the same to chimps, over thousands of years, to get the same result! Even so, as Annie says, they can turn sometimes, especially cats, but domestic cats just give you a few scratches, if they get wild, they are not big enough to cause you any serious harm. I love cats, they are the perfect pet to me, but they are never 100% domesticated in the way dogs are. But I like their independence!
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